Grab wants old cars on the road

By Madelaine B. Miraflor

Ride-sharing platform Grab Philippines is planning to make a formal petition for the Philippine government to consider allowing cars older than five years old to obtain transport network vehicle service (TNVS) franchise.

Brian Cu, President of Grab Philippines, plans to formally file this request in the first quarter next year.

Based on current rules of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), vehicles applying for TNVS franchise cannot be older than three years old. This means that cars bought in 2015 could not be accepted anymore.

Allowing older cars to operate as transport network vehicle service (TNVS) is one of the solutions seen to solve the public transportation woes in the country. This could also address issues with traffic since less people will be enticed to buy new cars just to get into the ride-hailing app business.

“We have already informally requested this. It's been part of the discussions we've had with the government,” Cu said.

In August, LTFRB issued a memorandum already allowing hatchbacks and subcompacts units to operate as TNVS units.

This was after the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) told the government agency to fast track the issuance of Certificates of Public Convenience (CPC) for TNVS franchise applicants.

Over the past months, more and more TNVS passengers have claimed to experience difficulty in booking a ride after Grab Philippines began deactivating some of its drivers who have yet to obtain provisional authorities (PAs) from LTFRB.

A survey done by commuter network The Passenger Forum (TPF) showed that 78 percent of TNVS riders are now struggling to book a ride on a daily basis, while 72 percent complained about more expensive fare rides.

Among the 100 survey respondents, at least 31 percent are residents of Quezon City, 26 percent reside in Manila, and 17 percent in CAMANAVA (Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas, Valenzuela).

Primo Morillo, TPF convenor, said in an earlier report that the survey results only proved that commuters are the only ones bearing “the brunt of the mass deactivation of TNVS units.”